Costa Rica and the way ahead

As the Panamanian tourist visa is valid only for 30 days, we had to leave the country and decided to go to Costa Rica. We traveled to Costa Rica bus and the trip lasted for too long - 17 hrs. The only good thing was that we could admire the amazing landscape and cloud forests of Costa Rica rural areas. During the trip the bus stopped several times as the road needed to be fixed - constant rainfall (and the downpour of water from the mountains) had destroyed the road in many places. We had great plans for spending a week at a wonderful beach sipping great cocktails, but unfortunately it didn't quite work out that way. October and November are the culmination for the rain season which meant that it rained every god damn day. Most of our time was spent in the hotel. The good thing was that internet was available and we could work from the hotel, so time wasn't wasted.

When we looked for opportunities to go outside San Jose (the capital), we were taken aback by the outrageous prices of public transportation. A bus to the Carribean coast was $80 one way (4 hour trip)! So for the 2 of us a trip there and back would have cost $320. This must be the most expensive bus in the world. In Europe I could fly from North Europe to the Mediterranean and back for that money. Only later we discovered that there is another cheap bus company going to all the locations as well, but it seemed to be a well-kept secret that no white man should find out.

Average Costarican (in San Jose) seemed to be somewhat richer than average Panamanian - although appearance might have been deceptive. Prices in San Jose were higher than in Panama City with few exceptions (restaurants). A taxi driver told us that many Costaricans go on shopping trips to Panama City as clothes and other that kind of items are so much more expensive in San Jose.

The city of San Jose was less impressive than Panama City, but seemed more safe. The city lacked the fancy old town that Panama has, although it had its old district with some pretty buildings too. The city itself was considerably smaller and easier to navigate. We saw so much more white people - Costa Rica as a tourist destination is way more popular. What I liked the most about San Jose that it had a proper city center with a walk-only street like most of European cities. Panama City doesn't have a city center (like Dubai) and I miss that.

Costa Rican Spanish was a lot clearer and easier to understand than Panamanian. We picked a difficult country to learn Spanish in :)

Now we've been back in Panama City for a week. Some updates of what's going on with my life:

The ethical company that I was doing some work for turned out to be not that ethical in its business practice. Sarah wrote about that in her blog, so I won't go into details here. As I couldn't rely on income from that company anymore, I decided to go solo. My initial research and talks with local people pointed out to me that there are wonderful business opportunities here in Panama. Right now, this is the place to be as all sorts of things are happening and now is the time to take advantage of this and build something great. I have many plans and I've started to execute them already. I started my own internet marketing company here and the future looks bright.

Some views of San Jose:

1 comment:

Liisi said...

Unbelievable story that happened with your employer. But I guess you are better off. Good luck with your the new adventures! I have faith in you :)